The temperatures may not feel like fall yet but fall routines are back in FULL swing! The supplies have been bought, the backpacks packed and our cute, little students are walking their way back into school. Hopefully you are finding your school schedule groove and your kiddos are adjusting well to their new routines. I’m sure many of you have realized just how busy life has become since the first day of school. Soccer practices, dance classes, homework, it’s a lot! So let’s talk about my absolute favorite kitchen tool to make this season of change just a tad bit easier – the Instant Pot. I was so resistant to the idea of the Instant Pot at first. I loved my slow cooker and the thought of a pressure cooker intimidated me. But last year I snagged the pot on Amazon Prime Day just to test it out for our lifestyle and I have never looked back. I even got rid of my once beloved slow cooker a few days after the Instant Pot arrived on my doorstep! Then there was the time I forgot to thaw a whole frozen chicken and I was able to pop that baby in my Instant Pot and have dinner on the table in a relatively short amount of time…I mean, could I ask for more!?
Here I have rounded up for you a few yummy, easy, weeknight dinners that my family loves. These are meals that can all be prepped before, thrown in the Instant Pot, and then gobbled up by your family – littles and bigs alike. Enjoy!
1. A Pinch of Healthy – Red Beans and Rice
As someone who is married to a New Orleans boy I felt that I had to include this recipe on the round up. It’s easy to customize the level of spice for little eaters and makes great leftovers to take to work or school the next day!
2. Creamy Potato Soup
This potato soup is one of our family favorites! It is so incredibly easy and a great way to use up extra produce.
- 1-1.5 lbs fingerling potatoes halved
- 1/5 shallot minced
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 can full fat coconut milk combined or 1 can of coconut cream
- Roughly 4 cups of chicken stock
- On sauté setting - sauté garlic, shallot, and potatoes with salt and pepper until onions are translucent and garlic is slightly caramelized.
- Add chicken broth, stir and make sure that there is no garlic/onions stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Set valve to sealing, put on lid, and set IP to soup setting for 10 minutes.
- While that is cooking combine coconut milk with immersion blender until creamy and slightly frothy.
- After soup is done cooking in IP, release pressure valve and take off lid. Stir in coconut milk.
- Use immersion blender to cream up soup and blend potatoes.
- Top with cheese, sour cream, greek yogurt, chives and bacon.
- In a pinch I have also left out the coconut milk/cream completely and the recipe has still tasted delicious! Just add a little more water or broth so your potatoes cream up nicely.
This is yet another meal that makes a regular appearance around our home. The chicken is delicious shredded and made into chicken salad the next day and the broth leftover in the Instant Pot is perfect for a soup made later in the week! We typically shred the chicken and serve with a bagged caesar salad from the store and a hunk of crusty french bread with a little butter.
- 1 whole lemon butter herb chicken from Trader Joe's (around 3 pounds)
- 1 cup of chicken broth or water
- 2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
- Drizzle oil into bottom of Instant Pot and set to sauté.
- Place Chicken breast side down and sear until browned on skin, flip and do the same.
- Turn sauté setting off and pour in broth/water.
- Cook on high pressure poultry setting for 18 minutes.
This Honey Garlic Chicken is the perfect way to satisfy a chinese take out craving but without all of the added calories! Serve it over Trader Joe’s Microwavable Jasmine Rice (a staple around our house!) or some shredded cabbage for a healthier spin. I subbed 2 tbsp of arrowroot flour instead of cornstarch because that’s what I had on hand and it thickened the sauce up just fine. I also put in my chicken thighs frozen and it was still done after being under pressure for 15 minutes!
5. Amber Massey – Instant Pot Shrimp Pasta
This recipe really could be an all in one pot hearty meal on its own or you could pair it with a quick salad or maybe a little roasted broccoli to add some greens!
I hope the start of the school year has been a relatively easy adjustment for you and yours! Wishing you all the best on a new year filled with learning adventures for your family.